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Posterior Cervical Fusion - 4/4/11 - Feeling Good

jben55jjben55 Posts: 35
edited 06/11/2012 - 8:52 AM in Back Surgery and Neck Surgery
So I had the posterior fusion of C6-C7 with instrumentation on 4/4/11. I had insturmental fixation with BMP, no graft needed to repair my non-union of C6-C7. I was 75% fused there and the micromovement was causing the neck pain I experienced. Through all of the research and stories I heard, I was leary of the pain I would feel after surgery. Well this has gone easier than the ACDF and the pain has been relatively tolerable, a couple days of significant discomfort but none in the last 5 days. I am 17 days out of surgery and I feel maybe about a discomfort of 2 out of 10, sometimes none at all. I have to be super careful for the next few weeks in what I do in terms of my arms not to tear the fascia, but the incision area and my muscles are only aching, not nerve pain, headaches numbness or anything that I have prior to surgery. The surgery went really well and I am now based on my Dr. visit yesterday very optimistic and confident I have the stability I need and that C6-C7 will fully fuse. I think its important we share good thought sometimes on this website, particularly when surgeries go well. I will see my Dr. again on the 18th of May where I will likely get the hard collar off, be able to drive and start physical therapy. I know the recovery process is slow and I will take the necessary time and not push it and work with it but the biggest thing right now is having a very manageable level of pain right now is awesome.



  • Wonderful news! And I totally agree with you about the good news!
  • jlrfryejjlrfrye ohioPosts: 1,110
    I am so glad you are doing well after the posterior approach. I also did pretty good or should I say better then I anticipated after the stories I was told and read. It only gets better from here.
  • Well,

    The feeling good aspect came to an end today. I returned to work today and I do not feel good at all. I wonder if there is some level of tension anticipating return to work but nonetheless I do think my weekend activities led to the pain increasing to about 6-7. I shaved my beard off yesterday which took about 30 minutes without my brace, as well went and played poker with friends on Saturday night (left the brace off for a little bit) and I tried to help a little around the house with some things like laundry, dishes and groceries not weighing more than 10 pounds. So my traps and deltoids are burning, aching and I'm getting shooting pains when moving them, the incision area is more tender and aching and shooting pains into back of head. I'm 4 weeks out, I guess this is common and part of the healing process. I'll try to slow it down more and hopefully will return to feeling better soon.

  • I had an anterior 2 level fusion 2 years ago, but due to another car accident I have to have a posterior fusion now, C4...I AM SCARED about all the pain I've been reading about...I am already in alot of pain, am on massive amounts of Soma, & morphine, both IR & ER, but had anyone out there had a good experience? or should I expect even worse pain?
  • I am 10 weeks out and doing really good. Don't be scared, there is some pain but every day you will get better and stronger.
  • I had to have posterior done because I did not fuse all the way at C6-C7. I had some incision pain and some muscle spasms in the first few weeks. My time at home went relatively well. My first two weeks back to work were difficult as I had some significant muscle spasms. The pain at the incision was never bad particularly after the swelling went. At the six week mark, I was able to take collar off. The spasms have gone away and I have not worn collar for 3 weeks now. Things are going so well now that I have no neck pain to speak of and my physical therapy is progressing very nicely. I am able to swim, jog and do light strength training and stretching at this time. Day by day I am building strength and endurance. I am very glad I had this surgery to ge the area to fully fuse and get rid of the neck and trap pain I was having.
  • Good Day: I am a 47 year old very active female. I had acdf one level at C5 C6 done in early Nov. 2010. So I am at about 8 months out and still a lot of pain. This is pain that I did not have before the surgery - a new neck pain - right where the base of my skull connects to the neck on both sides. I believe it's called the Occiput joints or something along those lines. My side to side ROM is terrible where it was fine before surgery. My arm and shoulder pain is somewhat improved post surgery, but this new neck pain and loss of ROM is so disheartening. My NS appt. at 6months postop showed a non-union, but the doc said the "odds were in my favor" of getting a union. So I am doing PT, and now wearing a bone growth stimulator and praying! It's been another 2 months and I do not feel any significant improvement. I feel certain that I will be faced with the decision soon as to whether proceed with the Posterior surgery to try and get a union. Being that I feel worse post acdf than I did before, I feel like wild horses can't get me back on that table. But a lifetime of this neck pain . . I don't know. It's like a constant aching in the joints at the base of my skull on both sides, and very prominent pain upon turning my head more than 45 degrees in either direction. Is this a similar pain to what you felt with your non-union? How are you doing lately? Thanks verymuch for your time! Best regards -
  • I am 12 weeks out from my posterior surgery, so way too early to call it but I am doing really well. The posterior surgery was very successful, I have been completely pain free for 6 weeks now and have been able to return to running and swimming and strength training. The pain you are feeling I had that after my ACDF, its surprisingly caused by your neck muscles. If you have non-union like me it causes the surrounding muscles to go into spasm and tightens up the back of your skull like you're feeling and causes a loss of ROM. Please send me a PM and I can give you more details of where I had my surgery so perhaps you may want to look into it further. Please note I am not advocating that you do the posterior because for some people it is quite painful. All I can relay is that I am so glad I did it and way, way easier for me than the original ACDF.
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